NEW YORK — The Carolina Panthers got their quarterback, then began rebuilding one of the weaker defenses in the NFL.
Against the backdrop of a restored lockout, the Panthers opened the third and final day of the draft Saturday by selecting West Virginia cornerback Brandon Hogan to begin the fourth round.
In the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Hogan, the Panthers hope they have found a player who can help new coach Ron Rivera reconstruct a defense that was more miserable against the run than the pass. Hogan, the 14th cornerback taken and No. 98 overall, led a West Virginia secondary that ranked 11th in the nation in pass defense.
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The wild week in the NFL resumed with players again locked out after a brief respite Friday. That night, however, an appeals court decision allowed the league to reinstate the lockout that had been lifted earlier in the week.
But the picks keep coming because the draft is protected under the old collective bargaining agreement, which expired March 11.
The Arizona Cardinals moved to improve their pass rush by selecting Texas linebacker Sam Acho with the fifth pick of the round, No. 102 overall. Acho was surprised, saying he hadn’t heard from the Cardinals in “a couple of
months” and didn’t know they were interested in him.
Acho’s parents emigrated from Nigeria, and each summer he returns to the country with his father and brother on a medical mission.
Two picks later, another Matthews joined the NFL when Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s the brother of Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews and the first Oregon player chosen in this draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles made Nebraska All-American Alex Henery the first kicker taken with the 23rd pick of the fourth round. Henery hit 18-of-19 field goal attempts (10-of-11 from 40 yards or longer) and all 54 extra points last season.
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Eagles longtime kicker David Akers is a free agent, but the team has placed a transition tag on him and would have a chance to retain him.
The San Francisco 49ers added depth to their backfield, selecting Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter with the 115th overall pick, the first of the Niners’ eight picks on the draft’s final day.
Although Hunter was chosen a couple of rounds lower than he had envisioned, he is used to having to prove himself at 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds.
The 49ers certainly were looking to boost a position where they were lacking without Frank Gore late last season, after he went down with a season-ending fractured hip Nov. 29.
Ballard, 6-foot-3, 283 pounds, is the first defensive player new coach Leslie Frazier, a
former defensive coordinator, has chosen in the draft. He could add
depth at the position, with Kevin Williams facing a four-game
suspension after a failed drug test and Pat Williams a free agent.
Chekwa ran one of the fastest 40s at the NFL combine at 4.4 seconds and was the 113th overall pick. Jones did not run at the combine because of an injury but was reportedly clocked between 4.27 and 4.35 seconds at his pro day. He was taken 125th overall.
Houston traded its initial fourth-round (105th overall) and sixth-round (178th overall) picks to Washington for the Redskins’ fourth-round (127th overall) and two fifth-round picks (144th and 152nd overall).
Carmichael joins three other defensive players taken by Houston in the first two rounds — Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, Arizona defensive end/linebacker Brooks Reed and Miami cornerback Brandon Harris.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Article source: SwaggerDap.com